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Create Your Knowtebook for Personal Growth

"Knowledge is Power" Sir Francis Bacon

One of the powerful uses of Microsoft OneNote is as a way to create notebooks for collecting information and learning. I have two variations on this theme:

"The Grail Diary"

If you've got a hobby or a topic you're passionate about OneNote can be a great place to collect all of your thoughts, information or resources. Whether that is cooking, travel, historical places or events...you name it.  Much like Professor Jones' grail diary from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The Grail Diary

One of my colleagues is an amateur chef and uses OneNote to collect recipies, links to videos on cooking techniques, even his own notes and comments on ingredients, ideas, etc. He rarely shares any of it with others - it's just a resource for himself.

I'm an amateur historian of the USS Missouri (I spent almost a decade working aboard her as a civilian contractor) and I've created a notebook all about the Missouri. It's got sections about the ship itself, the men who served aboard, a rapidly growing section of the history of the ship and so forth. I collect images, links to articles, information, ideas and more. It's just for me, but like Dr. Jones' Grail Diary it's become the central source for information, knowledge and resources about the USS Missouri for me.

And because OneNote syncs to all of my devices it's available on my phone if I need to look something up, or my tablet if BB-63 crewmember shares something interesting with me when I'm away from my desk.

If you've got a hobby or other passion consider creating a notebook of your own.

The "To Learn" Book

This is really where the concept of a Knowtebook really started for me. I found that going through my day I'd encounter words, places, people, concepts...all sorts of things that I wanted to know more about. I created a Knowtebook (a book of things I want to know) in OneNote and started to create pages about things I wanted to learn more about. "What is Associative Activation", "What's a 'Second Line' in a parade'", "How is Cricket Played", "What's the actual definition of 'Pathological'?" all sorts of questions.

I have the Knowtebook on my Surface tablet and my Android phone and my iPad...I almost always have at least one of those devices with me. When I encounter something I want to know about it takes just a couple of seconds to open OneNote on the nearest device and add a page for that topic into my Knowtebook.

Then I'd try to set aside 5 or 10 minutes each day when I was at my computer to go through the Knowtebook and do some research on those topics I felt needed more attention. The Knowtebook became a powerful tool for growing my own knowledge and ideas. Give it a try!


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Updated 5/8/16